The Gibson-Todd House
Built in 1891, the Gibson-Todd house was designed by the architect Thomas A. Mullet. While the building has gotten attention over the years, the site is better known for being the place where John Brown was hanged following his trial. John Thomas Gibson was the first occupant of the house after it was completed. His granddaughter, Frances Prakette, married Augustine J. Todd and donated the house to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Backstory and Context
The Gibson-Todd House was commissioned in 1891 by John Thomas Gibson. Gibson was the commander of the Virginia Militia and was in charge of the first armed response against John Brown's Harpers Ferry raid. He would go on to fight with the Confederate army in the Civil War as an officer. Following the war, Gibson would become mayor of Charles Town.
Designed by Thomas A. Mullet, the Gibson-Todd House was built in the Late Victorian style, with a conical tower and two-and-a-half floors. While the house has history behind it, the site it is built upon is much more well known as the execution site of John Brown. Following the demolition of the old Jefferson County jailhouse, Gibson used stones from the jail to construct a monument on the property to commemorate the event.
The house was inherited by Frances Prakette, Gibson's granddaughter, and her spouse Augustine J. Todd. Prakette would donate the building to the the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It would be added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1983.
Gibson-Todd House. West Virginia Explorer. http://wvexplorer.com/attractions/historic-landmarks/gibson-todd-house/.